4.21.2012

Happy Earth Day!


I tend to get a little excited about Earth Day. Especially over the past few years as my “greenness” has grown. I haven't been doing any special for the holiday weekend. I just baked some wheat bread from scratch, made some homemade no-cook strawberry jam from some local fresh strawberries, and made my yummy spring salad again. No bigs. Actually, we don't have air conditioning in our house and it's super hot this weekend, so I feel like get a lot of points in general for that.

Any way - Hope you have a good Earth Day too! I made my first list for the holiday...


  • My cool new bag I got a the Earth Day Fair at work Friday. And yes, that is my bag of recycling...



And maybe a few local adult beverages are in my near future? That's always an easy way to celebrate around here.

What will you do for Earth Day (P.S. sorry for being so hippy). 

Erica

4.18.2012

Springtime Salad.


The sun is getting up earlier and staying out later...

The rain is letting up...

Warmer weather is right around the corner...

My used to be non-existent allergies are in full swing...

Yay! Spring time is here!

We took full advantage of the sunshine and warmer weather this weekend. I had perfect weather for my 14 miles of crazy hills on Saturday. And Sunday Funday was just that - me and the hubs, reading our books, drinking some Heretic, playing some Rummikub. Can it get any better?? Yes – we played "Go Fish" several times and I also got a bit of tan.

I don't know what that face is - don't judge me.

Anyway, Spring time makes me think of bright green trees and asparagus season. This is a perfect meal to ring in this time of year. And – it even has peas and I still enjoy it. Remember my pea story? Anyway, hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do...I've been making it at least once a week since I first discovered it.

Spring Salad
Makes 2 Large Salads
Inspired by TheKitchn and 101 Cookbooks
2 ounces of pasta of your choice
½ lb of Asparagus, trimmed
½ cup shelled peas (fresh or frozen)
3 cups fresh spinach or other favorite green (arugula added in is super yums).
2-3 radishes, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
About an ounce of herb goat cheese
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Dressing
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
2 Teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Boil pasta as directed in a pot of water with a bit of salt added. Just about a minute before the pasta is done, add the asparagus. About 30 seconds after that, add the peas. Drain everything at once. You can either cool it here, or dunk it all in an ice bath to speed the process up.

To make your dressing, grab an empty clean jar and add all your ingredients. Shake until its combined well.

Arrange a bed of greens. Add pasta, asparagus, and peas. Top with the radishes, chives, and goat cheese and toss in your homemade dressing. Add a little cracked pepper and serve cold.


Enjoy that on a patio during a nice spring day. With a beer or two...


Cheers!

Erica

4.17.2012

Womp Womp Womp

Well hello again everyone. Sorry for my long absence. Work and life have been crazy as of late, but everything is calming back down so that means more time for cooking and then of course writing about it! And well, more time for fun in general!

Although this isn't the first recipe I've made since my business has subsided, I had high hopes for it and sharing it with you. That being said, I feel some disclosure is due here: 1) I love pesto 2) I don't own a food processor 3) I'm a texture eater

Without further ado, I give you my experience with Chicken Pesto Minestrone, a recipe from the blog Bev Cooks.


I've been eyeing this recipe for awhile now and finally decided to make it on probably the hottest day of the year so far. That was probably my first mistake...who eats soup when it's hot outside? For some reason I thought that was a good idea. My second mistake was tyring to make the pesto in the blender. It took FOREVER and eventually I said, "I give up, I'm going with what I got". So I followed the rest of the recipe...


It kind of looks like a witches cauldron...no? It smelled heavenly even if it doesn't really look all that appetizing. The only edit to the recipe that I made was to just boil two chicken breasts and cut those up instead of using a rotisserie chicken. The soup would actually be relatively quick to make, as soups go, if you have a food processor!


This is where the womp, womp, womp comes in...I loved the flavors of the soup, but it was so gritty because I didn't get the pesto to the right consistency in the blender and so I couldn't eat it. I tried and tried and pretty much ate the whole bowl, but I didn't enjoy it. And I haven't eaten the rest of it. I guess that's what I get for making soup on an 80+ degree day.

I will definitely revisit this once my kitchen tools have been upgraded. In the meantime, anyone that does have a food processor, I would definitely recommend this soup.

-Abbie

4.13.2012

Whole Grain Pancakes


You know what I love about training for a marathon? You are encouraged to eat carbs. Yeah...amazing right?! Thursday night after track, my coach literally said “Go eat some carbs.” Sure thing coach! Well, the word “complex carbs” may have been in there somewhere, but I heard carbs and then every thing was a blur.

And we all know I love breakfast.

So here we are. Carbs+ Breakfast =Yummy Whole Grain Pancakes. Totally counts and I know I am going to be fueled for my 14 miles of hills and mud tomorrow. Can't wait.

And these pancakes are foolishly good. Maybe I can have them again tomorrow after the run? Recovery meal? Sure.


Whole Grain Pancakes
Makes 4 Pancakes
½ Cup Whole Wheat White Flour
¼ Cup Oat Flour
2 Teaspoons Raw Sugar
½ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Egg
¾ Cup Almond Milk (or regular milk)
1/2 Tablespoon Melted Butter
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

If you don't have whole wheat white flour, substitute with all purpose unbleached white. Otherwise, it may taste like cardboard. And no one likes cardboard pancakes. You can make the oat flour at home – just through some old fashion oats in a coffee or spice grinder and give it a whirl and BOOM! You have oat flour.

How To:
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Do the same thing with the egg, milk, butter and vanilla in a separate bowl. Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Pour about ¼ cup of batter in the pan and cook until golden brown.

I enjoy mine with some bananas cooked in.


Yums.

Erica

4.02.2012

When Life Gives You Lemons...


Make hummus!

The best of citrus season is slipping away and lemons are one of the things I have fancied so much this season. So, if you have some extra lemons on your tree or just have some hanging around, you should make this.

Hummus is something I often crave. It’s healthy, easy to transport for lunches, and tasty. All the things I look for in a snack.  Along with chocolate, peanut butter, things that combine chocolate and peanut butter.

This recipe is for a basic, easy hummus – I am excited to play with it and add stuff to change the flavors. Chris wants to make a Habummus. That’s habanero hummus. We will see how that one goes…and I can’t wait to try it with maybe roasted garlic, eggplant, and roasted red pepper...kale?

 

Simple Hummus
Adapted from Alton Brown
1 15oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons of olive oil, or more as needed
¼ cup water
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 ½ teaspoon salt
Juice from 2-3 lemons

Place the chickpeas, garlic, and kosher salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 15 to 20 seconds. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and process for another 15 to 20 seconds. Add the lemon juice and water. Process for 20 seconds. Add the tahini and go for another 20 seconds. Then, with the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy with this pita or fresh veggies.

 

Enjoy!


Erica
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